At Knoxville Smiles, we are proud to have an in-house lab that we use for a wide range of patient dental care needs. While many dental offices use an outside lab to fabricate dental restorations, we believe that having an in-house dental lab better serves our Knoxville, TN area patients.
What does having an in-house lab mean?
Rather than sending out dental impressions to an external laboratory, we send them right downstairs to our highly skilled and experienced lab technicians, Bob and Nate! Bob is a master lab technician who has been practicing for nearly 40 years, and Nate is a trained Registered Dental Assistant and guru of 3D digital dentistry. They partner with Dr. Malone and Dr. Costa on any dental restorations that require lab work, such as dental crowns, bridges, dentures, or other types of restorations.
How having an in-house lab benefits our patients
There are many benefits associated with having an in-house laboratory:
- For patients with complex dental needs, Bob and Nate are just as involved in care planning as Dr. Malone and Dr. Costa. They routinely come up to meet patients so you can meet your lab technician face-to-face and know who is involved in your care from start to finish.
- We can ensure that the highest quality materials and latest techniques are being used in the laboratory. Bob and Nate are continually refining their laboratory methods and technologies, and currently have their professional-grade 3D printers running all day long, using digital designs for all prosthetics.
- We can achieve the right balance between technology and customized care-while technology is the best option for some steps in the dental restoration process, other steps simply have better results when performed by hand. To this end, Bob and Nate finish custom crowns and prosthetics by hand painting and glazing.
- Bob and Nate are experts in computer-guided implant surgery. In fact, they create implant surgical guides for dentists all around eastern Tennessee, and work with Dr. Costa and Dr. Malone daily to learn and refine their skills.
In addition, having an in-house lab allows us to rapidly fix issues should they arise, such as:
- Alterations to a restoration when it doesn’t quite fit right or has a slightly incorrect shade; instead of having to wait for many weeks to send the restoration back to the lab and wait for it to be returned, we can make the changes right here on the same day.
- For patients undergoing clear aligner treatment to straighten their teeth, we manufacture our clear aligners for orthodontic movement right downstairs unlike other clear aligner companies. This means that if you lose a tray or if your dog eats it, we can make a new one immediately instead of waiting for it to ship in the mail and losing precious time in your treatment plan.
- If you break your partial denture or denture, Bob & Nate are able to repair it on-site, sometimes within just one day so you do not need to go for long without functional teeth.
- If you break a tooth and are in need of more dental work, but don’t want to wait for a new restoration with a gap in your smile, Bob & Nate can make a beautiful clear tray with a crown in place that instantly brings your smile back!
In short, having an in-house laboratory is just another way that we are able to enhance the quality of care that we provide to our patients at Knoxville Smiles. To schedule an appointment with us, call (865) 426-1776 today!